Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 11.1

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Val Margosha getting on train All Abord
Rose and Valentino boarding the train back at the abandoned subway station.  Now Rose has left the train.  Valentino is gravely ill. Read on to find out what happens next!

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Summer is in full force and so is the diesel-punk train!  It’s great to see all you Sheiks and Shebas here at the station. 

You already know that this story is unplanned. I write it spontaneously as artist, illustrator, and “co-conspirator” Rob Goldstein sends new groups of “three things.”  However, that doesn’t mean that once I get a thing I don’t have to figure out how to evolve what exists of the plot to make it go with the thing.  (Did that make sense?)  This time it was taking me awhile to do that — get the characters, location, and the events that have happened so far — to mesh with the next thing.  So this episode doesn’t have a true thing.  I simply gave it a title.

Valentino Trumpet_The Mystic_Dark-2
Valentino calls us to the station with his trumpet, by Rob Goldstein

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Due to sabotage to the Tesla coil, Valentino’s train passed into a painting. Heroic efforts by the clockwork angel-bots brought everyone back onto the train.  However, they’re all still worried about Valentino.  Back at the Cotton Club he said that he didn’t have long to live.  Valentino’s health continues to diminish because of the damage to his connection with the train.

As the train traveled, Lulu caught a glimpse of mysterious and huge multicolored wings. 

Finally the train thudded into the sands of Egypt.  However, outside there were two Egypts and one of them was upside-down — people there were the opposite of what they were in our world. Rose spotted the opposite version of Tom Driberg there and she parted company with us to be with him.

The story picks up where Chapter 10.3 ended.  Now to Chapter 11.1.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet?

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 11.1


LuLu in Egypt 3 Valentino Gramps foreground
Valentino, Angel-bot, Lulu, Gramps and others, by Rob Goldstien

My hand was on the door to the “upside-down” Egypt.  I couldn’t just let Rose leave to be with Tom when he had caused so much trouble for her.  He willingly put her life in danger for the sake of his espionage. 

Yet when I saw the way that Tom looked at Rose I removed my hand from the door.  The angel-bot, Moon, had said people in that Egypt were the opposite of what they were in our world.  The expression on that Tom’s face was one of innocence and pure love.

“Señorita,” Moon began but he didn’t seem to know what to say.

“No one has ever looked at me like that,” I murmured.

“Señorita, are you unwell?” Moon asked.

I used the back of my hand to wipe my nose and sniffed, mumbling that I was fine.

Lulu hat reclining
Lulu by Rob Goldstein

Then I fell flat on my rump.

The train shifted dramatically to one side.  Only moments before, it had crashed into a sand dune.  I supposed it was not stable.  Neither was Valentino.  Abruptly I was worried about what harm the unexpected motion might have caused Valentino.  He was already deathly ill.

A fluttering sensation deep inside my ears caused me to shake my head.  It was the oddest feeling, and it wouldn’t stop.  The fluttering was like having a tiny bird caught inside my head.

It caused me to think of the large multicolored wings I glimpsed before.  Right after seeing those wings I had felt something thud against the top of the train.  I wondered if that impact led to its shift of position.  Did whatever it was hit the train?

My head started to buzz.  The lights flickered sharply, almost like the flash of a camera.

For an instant I saw a gorgeous woman wearing a long white gown.  Her black hair was like a smooth sheet of onyx.  In contrast to her elegance, I thought her little hat was funny.  Or maybe it was a crown, but it mostly looked like a tiny chair on top of her head.

Iset full black gown Lulu - Goddess-3 (1)
Mysterious for sure, but good or bad?  Rob Goldstein

Her eyes narrowed dangerously when I met her appraising gaze.  There was nothing funny about the look she gave me.

The lights flashed again and she vanished as quickly as she had appeared.  I shook my head again.  The fluttering sensation was gone.  After seeing that woman appear and disappear, I felt my head for a bump.  I didn’t remember hitting my head, and I hadn’t had a drink all day, but nobody could just pop into existence and then vanish like that.  I was sure I must have been seeing things.

Feeling disoriented, I struggled to my feet and looked outside.  The shift caused the train to tilt.  The ground was several feet below the door.  I wondered if I could jump that far without hurting myself.

I watched in unmoving astonishment as dozens of angel-bots swarmed out of the train.  It looked as though the clockwork attendants were trying to right the train. 

My foot caught on something and I fell again.  I saw Gramps headed toward me.

“Lulu, are you all right?” my grandfather asked.

Gramps effortlessly pulled me to my feet.  My grandfather’s speakeasy didn’t really need a bouncer when he was there.  He was still a strong man.  I wasn’t sure how I got my klutziness, but it didn’t come from him.  His big mustache was perfectly groomed and his bowtie was straight.  I doubted that he even stumbled when the train tilted.

Lulu Gramps Valentino control room blue
Lulu, Gramps, and Valentino, by Rob Goldstein

“I should go check on Valentino,” I told him.

Clicking from the heels of Pearl’s oxfords preceded her.  Glittering earrings that skimmed her bare shoulders swung as she walked.  Pearl always wore earrings.  Sometimes I thought that must be the first thing she put on in the mornings.  To Pearl, the longer and more dramatic the earrings the better.  However, something had spilled down the front of her beaded gown and her fair hair was mussed.

“Wicky, Wacky, and Woo are with Valentino,” Pearl told me as she walked toward us.  “He was raving something, but his speech was slurred.  It sounded like he kept asking about something, ‘Is it’ whatever.  I asked him ‘Is what?’ but he moaned and passed out again.”

Horsefeathers.  I didn’t know he was delirious.  He’s gotten worse then,” I murmured.

Gramps nodded and looked at me gravely.

“Lulu, how will we get home?” Pearl suddenly wailed.

Pearl started crying and Gramps put a fatherly arm around her shoulder.  She grabbed my hand.

Pearl_Lulu 1
Pearl by Rob Goldstein

“I’m sorry Lulu.  I shouldn’t have said what I did,” Pearl told me with a quick glance at Gramps.

I could tell that she didn’t want me to let my grandfather know what she had said.  (Chapter 10.2)  Pearl had spoken with heated contempt about “the kind of people” I was from, as she phrased it.

I wanted to shout at Pearl, to point out that she only apologized for saying out loud what she was thinking.  That wasn’t an apology.  It wasn’t any better than a thief being sorry he got caught.  She hadn’t shown any regret for what she felt. 

However, I didn’t say anything.  I didn’t want to even look at her.  So instead I pretended interest in Moon’s busy tinkering.

Moon opened a narrow panel next to the door.  I didn’t know what the engineering bot was trying to achieve.  Moon appeared to know all the mysterious workings of Valentino’s train.  With a click and a pop, the exit door opened.

It looked like the angel-bots outside had managed to brace the train to prevent it shifting again.  Then one of them pointed toward the Great Pyramid in the distance.  Abruptly they stopped their work.  All the clockwork creatures moved toward the one who pointed.

Val Lulu long skirt Rolls
Art by Rob Goldstein

A cloud of sand billowed behind an automobile as is sped toward us. 

“This is extraordinary!” Moon exclaimed.

“What do you mean?” I asked the automaton.

“It’s Papá!” Moon cried.


The End


Horsefeathers!  Now what?  Pearl wants forgiveness, but has no remorse for thinking Lulu and Gramps are second class.  A strange woman flickered in for an instant, and she didn’t look too happy to see Lulu.  And what the Sam Hill did Moon mean by Papá? 

Be at the station next week to find out more. 

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there, and terrific blog posts too. 

Real World Notes

Earrings.  Roaring Twenties fashion, including jewelry had a focus on movement.  The popularity of short haircuts resulted in the trend of long and dangling earrings. Earrings became a statement piece in their own right, rather than an afterthought.  Here’s an article with lovely pictures.

Did you notice the bit in this chapter about Pearl and those long earrings?  Keep an eye out next time for something related to those earrings. 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  Next of the random “things” Rob sent to drive Chapter 11 is Violet Ray.  We’ll see where that takes this diesel-punk train and who else comes aboard! 

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the oyster’s earrings! 


Now some shameless self-promotion for my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.


95 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 11.1

  1. Love the idea of that hat (or crown) looking like a chair on that mysterious woman’s head, Teagan. Pearl’s earrings have me hooked (after reading what you said after the end of the story). I wonder if they belong to that mysterious woman?
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hugh, I’m so happy that you’re catching up! So you know by now about the earrings. Since I’m delighted to see you, I’ll tell you the “chair” hat/crown is a clue. 😉
      Thanks so much for visiting. You’re the cat’s particulars!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kirt. You are so kind — thank you. 🙂 It’s good feedback to know I’m still managing to keep you on your toes. There are so many layers, so many places I’d like to take this story, if I didn’t have to hold down a real world job… There are so many stories I’d like to tell.
      But it’s finally Saturday/Caturday, Crystal is doing well today, and I have time for a second cup of coffee. Those are happy things to focus on. Caturday hugs to you and the kitties. I’m so glad you’re on this train. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Teagan…I can only imagine how many stories are going through your mind at any given point in time!! I always look forward to reading your latest installment!! Enjoy your “downtime” with Crystal!! We had to leave our two this morning…heading over to LA for couple of weeks…the suitcases coming out yesterday were the give away…they weren’t happy:( Have a great weekend!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Gaaaaaah! I hate it when I get to the end of a chapter so quickly!! This suspense from week to week is killing me! It seems that even more danger is still ahead!!

    As usual, I love Rob’s images. It took me a while to realize that they reminded me of an Art Deco poster I bought many years ago when I just finished university. I went searching for it in the basement looking to resurrect it …. AND I CAN’T FIND IT!!! I’m hoping it’s not lost forever and in the meantime I’ll just have to enjoy Rob’s pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh nooo… I hope the poster turns up, Joanne. But I’m happy that you are enjoying Rob’s art — he will be delighted.
      You realize I’m secretly chuckling “Bwhahahaha!” I have to do something or else I’d have to remove “Cliffhanger Maven” as a title on my resume. 😉
      Yepper, more perils ahead for our pals. Thanks so much for being on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am on pins and needles, worried about Valentino. How did I come to care so much for him? I don’t know. You worked magic, Teagan. 🙂 I’ll be watching for Pearl’s earrings to have some significance. And, who the heck is Papa? Well, I’ll just have to wait until next week to find out. I am loving this story! More phenomenal art from Rob Goldstein!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jan. People went from expecting Valentino to be at best shady and at worst the villain — to being worried about him. To be honest, I have no idea what I did to achieve either situation. But I’m delighted that you’re enjoying it. Heartfelt thanks for being on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. John, it’s great to see you any day of the week. Ha! I was curious as to whether anyone was going to wonder if Papa was a “what.” (But don’t read anything into my pondering.) I’m so glad you’re on this train. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Robbie. It’s great to see you. Rob did such a fantastic job on that image. Hang on tight — the strange woman might be something other than a queen. 😉 Thanks for taking time to visit. I’m happy that you’re on this train. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tee-hee! What a cute train, Carol. Thanks for the link.
      LOL, Pearl’s earrings do come into play… or rather their absence does. That’s my only hint though. 😉
      I’m so glad you’re on this train. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono — and always, the oyster’s earrings!


  4. Another great cliff hanger Teagan!

    I love long dangly ear-rings and since cutting my hair short I’ve been wearing more of them.

    Have you watched Phranie Fisher Mysteries? I love her costumes,and ear-rings. I’d love to find more ear-rings styled from that period.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, yes! Deborah, her costumes are pos-i-lutely the best glad rags ever.
      There’s a trend right now for long tassel earrings, which remind me of the 20s. Today I ordered a pair at QVC. I had been looking for yellow and these looked fun. Search this: J354872 at http://www.qvc.com

      I’m so happy you are on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    It is Jazz Age Wednesday and we join the train on a tilt between two Egypts with love on one side and shenanigans on the other. All the angel bots are working to right the situation but Lulu has bigger concerns… Valentino is failing, Pearl is being ungracious and a speck on the horizon has the bots all of a tizz…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Poor Lulu. Betrayed by her friend and worried about Valentino, all while trying to figure out the crazy train’s mystery! She has her hands full 🙂
    Enjoyed the earring video at the end!
    And of course, Rob’s work- always stunning!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jacquie. Lulu definitely has enough to figure out. 🙂 She might find more questions than answers.
      I agree about Rob’s art. He just keeps raising the bar. The new image was one of his best ever. Glad you enjoyed that little video — I was surprised to find it. Thanks so much for being on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I am enjoying this story so much! Thanks you for making my lunch time more enjoyable. Your description of Gramps reminds me of my dad. I don’t think I ever saw him stumble and I can’t count the times he picked me up. Thanks for jogging that memory loose.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dan, it really made me smile to hear that I brought up a fond memory. (Not an easy task when I have a hypoglycemic headache pounding away, from lunch being 2 1/2 hours late… meetings…) So thank you for being on this train and lifting me up.
      You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Papa? And Valentino is worse? Rose is with Tom and Pearl and Lulu are in the middle of a spat. ARRGGGH!
    You’ve got me riveted. I’m really worried about Valentino because he seems to be getting worse instead of better. I wonder who the mysterious Papa is? You are doing a great job of weaving all these threads and keeping me on the edge of my seat. Love, love, LOVE Rob’s artwork. You two make a great creative team.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Mae. It’s a wonderful thing to work with Rob. I’m delighted that you enjoy this story. I really appreciate the details you leave — it’s such good feedback. I’m happy you’re on this train. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The angel-bots sure seem excited about Papá… I suppose it’s their daddy. But that does bring all sorts of questions, doesn’t it? 😉
      I’m happy you enjoyed this trip, Diana. Thanks so much for being on the train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Well, the concept of taking unrelated “things” and making a story isn’t new to me, but doing so and continuing the saga with each set? That’s something I haven’t seen before. Difficult yet fun! I need to make time to go back and read everything from the beginning, but this segment was really interesting. Nice job!

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh, I’m sorry — I was not correcting you — rather I was repeating Moon’s excited comment “It’s Papá!” I don’t know the keyboard short cut for the accent mark either. I was just copy & paste… Again, Jennie — I really am sorry. I don’t like to correct anyone, and I certainly wouldn’t do it over something insignificant. Great big hug!

          Liked by 2 people

          1. No worries, Teagan- I knew you weren’t correcting me 🙂. I was lamenting that I can’t always do the fancy stuff. Really! A keyboard definitely has advantages over typing on the screen. So, you were the worried one, not me. A super big hug to you, my friend. ❤️❤️❤️

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Tee-hee! Yes, it’s Papá! Fortunately I had part of the next chapter written when I realized the episode was getting too long. Although what was left is not that much… so still a challenge ahead. I just learned something about you, Olga. I didn’t know you loved earrings. Thanks so much for taking time to visit. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

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